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Reasons to Have a Tooth Removed
Our doctors will do everything they can to preserve the teeth in a patient’s mouth. That being said, sometimes, there is just no way to save a tooth. The following are some of the most common reasons for tooth extraction:
- Severe tooth decay that has reached the center of the tooth. If a root canal cannot help clear away the infection, extraction may be necessary
- Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, which causes the gums to shrink and become infected
- Impaction, which is when the tooth has not been able to fully emerge from the gums
- Trauma or accident, which can damage to the tooth to the point that it is no longer salvageable
The first step in the process is to numb the tooth, bone, and gum tissue with a local anesthetic so that the patient won’t feel any pain or discomfort. While patients won’t be able to feel the tooth being removed, they may feel some pressure as our doctors push and pull on the tooth.
Next, our doctors will use a variety of tools to help the extraction go smoothly. These might include extraction forceps, which are like a set of pliers that are used to grab the tooth and pull it out, and dental elevators, which resemble a narrow screwdriver and are used to wedge under the gums to force the tooth out.
After the Procedure
Once the tooth is gone, our doctors will clean out the empty socket to remove any infected tissue and help the area heal better. They’ll also rinse the area with a saline solution to clean out tooth or bone fragments. If any bits of bone are sticking out, they’ll file these down so they won’t cause future problems. Finally, if the wound is large, they’ll use stitches to close it up and then place gauze over the extraction site.
After the tooth extraction, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake patients can expect a bit of soreness. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. There may also be a fair bit of bleeding, but this can be controlled by applying pressure to the site with gauze.
Dry socket is a painful condition where the blood clot in the socket is dislodged. To keep the blood clot in place, patients will need to stick to a soft or liquid foods diet for the first couple of days after the procedure. They also can’t smoke or drink from a straw, as this increases the risk of dry socket.